A Beginner's Guide to the Hemp Plant
CBD 101 - What is Hemp?
(CÜR is not making any medical or health claims in this blog: *These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.)
Doing a quick Google search on CBD oil or CBD products can tell you that CBD comes from the Hemp plant, a derivative of the Cannabis plant. The cannabis plant is more widely known by the general masses for its other derivative, marijuana and due to the negative stipulations regarding the legality and use of marijuana recreationally, potential users of CBD products turn away from CBD or hemp products in general due to overall lack of understanding on the Hemp plant’s usage, origin, and benefit. Hopefully, this article can answer any of your remaining questions on Hemp as well as give you a little insight and information on the uses of hemp as well as how it is cultivated as well as its legality and uses.
What is this plant people call Hemp?Hemp is a derivative of the Cannabis Sativa plant. Unlike Marijuana, hemp does not contain the psychoactive chemicals or property’s that allow its users to feel intoxicated. The CBD in products that you use comes from the hemp plant and not marijuana which is why CBD doesn't give its users any feeling of intoxication. Also, unlike Marijuana, Hemp is usually not consumed by smoking the plant either as there are other methods of consuming the plant's beneficial properties and chemicals such as CBD than smoking hemp directly. The uses of the Hemp plant don’t stop at CBD however. CBD is a relatively newer product but the Hemp plant has found itself being used for a wide variety of uses other than cultivation for CBD oil for thousands of years.
Hemp is very interesting all in one plant. When it comes to the usage of the plant itself, hemp boasts a large variety of useful parts. While many commercial plants and herbs are cultivated for their fruit or fibers, the usage of the hemp plant doesn’t stop at the flowering part of the plant where CBD is commonly extracted from. Fibers from the stems and stalks of the hemp plant are commonly used in the manufacturing of all sorts of fabric including both clothing and commercial furniture. Hemp fiber can also be used in ropes, bedding materials, and paper. Many construction and manufacturing companies include hemp in ceiling and wall panels as well as agricultural companies using hemp in compost.
Hemp in Food and Nutrition
The seeds of the hemp plant contain natural dietary fibers as well as Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. Because of this, hemp can become a great alternative for those who are looking to receive these fatty acids from a source other than fish, where they are most commonly consumed. Containing all 10 essential amino acids, hemp seeds are also a good source of protein that doesn’t contain phytates which are common in many vegan or vegetarian protein sources. On top of all this, hemp seeds contain phytosterols, which are used for reducing cholesterol by helping your body remove unwanted fat from your arteries. One couldn’t finish discussing the nutritional qualities of the hemp plant without mentioning magnesium, an important mineral that plays a role in over 300 different enzyme reactions in the human body. Magnesium deficiency has been linked to heart disease and osteoporosis and research has shown that incorporating nuts, seeds, and fibers or other dietary supplements containing magnesium can aid in cardiovascular health as well as combat type 2 diabetes, anxiety, and insomnia. Food products containing hemp include
- Hemp Milk
- Hemp Seeds
- Hemp Flour
- Hemp Honey
- Hemp Yogurt
- Hemp Cheese and Cheese Substitutes
- Hemp Protein Powder
- Many More
Hemp is cultivated for a variety of reasons. As listed above, hemp seeds and stalks are used in the textile and nutrition industries alike. Both Hemp and marijuana are dioecious plants meaning that there are both male and female plants. In the cultivation of Marijuana, male plants are often gotten rid of as the value in growing marijuana comes from the budding and flowering part of the plant. With hemp, due to its many usable parts, things are a little different. Both male and female hemp plants are grown and harvested for the many uses of hemp. Male plants are often grown near and around the female plants as well to produce seeds that will be used for future plants. Hemp is also usually grown outside, again Unlike Marijuana where a large majority of the plant is cultivated in controlled greenhouse environments. Hemp plants grown for fiber are usually grown more densely than hemp grown for CBD oil or usage and hemp, in general, is grown far less densely than marijuana as well. Marijuana plants are usually limited to a single plant per square foot where Hemp plants can be planted as densely as 60 to 100 in the same area.
Hemp is classified and differentiated from marijuana by the amount of THC the plant contains. THC is the chemical that produces marijuana’s psychoactive effects. While there is still THC in hemp, there is not enough to allow its user to feel any effects. The amount of THC allowed in Hemp plants can vary from country to country. In the United States, hemp plants are required to contain no more than 0.3% THC where in the EU the number is restricted to 0.2% down to the 0% regulation on THC in hemp in Great Britain. Because of the 2018 Agriculture Improvement Act, in the United States, as long as the Hemp plant contains less than 0.3% THC, it can legally be harvested for agricultural purposes and be transported across state lines. This act also allows Hemp Farmers to receive crop and agricultural insurance on their Hemp plants as well, the same as any other crop that they would be growing. As further studies are conducted on both hemp and marijuana and their benefits of usage, it can be expected to see further restrictions on the cannabis plant be lifted once again soon.